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The international community cannot therefore allow the status process to grind to a halt or to be shuffled off into a siding by convening further fruitless negotiations. We learnt to our cost in the 1990s the heavy human and political price attached to an indecisive international response to looming problems in the western Balkans. The stability and security of part of Europe is at stake. It is essential that we respond in a decisive and far-sighted manner.

The UK's preference would be for a settlement to be supported by the passage of a resolution of the UN Security Council. We believe there should be

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further rapid consultations in New York to this end before the end of 2007. However, in the absence of agreement between the parties, we need to be realistic about the slim prospects of securing the necessary consensus in the Security Council.

Against this background it is important that the EU demonstrates its readiness to meet its responsibilities and objectives in respect of stability and security in Europe. Securing a viable and sustainable future for Kosovo is a major responsibility for the EU. The effectiveness and cohesiveness of the EU's common foreign and security policy will be judged against our ability to deliver on this responsibility. The EU must demonstrate firm resolve to bring the status process through to completion and play a leading role subsequently in implementing a settlement. I welcome the fact that the EU is already intensively engaged in the necessary preparations to meet these responsibilities.

In moving towards a Kosovo settlement, it will be necessary for the EU and others to take a strategic approach answering to a series of key challenges. There will be a need to ensure Kosovo's security. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is already deployed in strength in Kosovo to maintain a safe and secure environment. The EU has indicated a readiness to provide a European security and defence policy policing/rule of law mission. The EU should deliver on this commitment.

There will be a need to ensure good governance in Kosovo. The proposal of the UN special envoy provides a good basis for this. The provisions it set out for the internal governance of Kosovo, and the allocation of responsibilities it contains, must be the foundation for how we deliver security and help Kosovo improve its ability to meet European standards. The EU should be ready to play a major part in settlement implementation including the appointment of an EU special representative and through contributing to an international civilian office in Kosovo.

There will be a need to achieve certainty and permanence in respect of Kosovo's future status. Again, the UK believes that the proposal of the UN special envoy for supervised independence provides a good basis.

There will be a need to look beyond the immediate challenge of resolving Kosovo's future status. Following a settlement, Kosovo will face formidable economic and state-building challenges. The international community—with the EU to the fore—will need to be ready to meet this challenge, including through the swift convening of a donors’ conference.

Finally, there will be a need to address the regional dimension. The UK recognises that moving through this phase will be difficult for Serbia as well as for other countries in the region. The EU must be clear and far-sighted in its commitment to helping them meet European standards and so move further towards eventual accession. There is a compelling strategic case for enlargement to the western Balkans so that this troubled region can share in the security, stability and prosperity that the EU offers. The EU needs to take forward this agenda vigorously in the months ahead.



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Lisbon: EU-Africa Summit

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (David Miliband) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Leaders from the European Union and Africa met in Lisbon on 8 and 9 December at the second EU-Africa summit to agree new co-operation and a framework for a closer partnership between the two continents. The agenda was wide, covering peace and security, governance and human rights, trade, infrastructure and development, energy and climate change and migration. The main themes to emerge in discussions focused on governance and trade.

The UK had made clear its position that the Prime Minister would not participate if President Mugabe attended. Baroness Amos ably represented the UK and promoted key aims.

The UK commitment to the relationship between African and the European Union is clear. We supported the summit and have been working hard with partners in the course of this year to prepare for successful discussions and agreements. We welcome the fact that leaders were able to discuss and reach agreement on urgent global challenges including the need to accelerate progress towards reaching the millennium development goals in Africa, tackling conflict and climate change, and promoting good governance.

European leaders at the summit rightly highlighted the links between governance and development and focused particularly on the human rights situations in Zimbabwe and Darfur, and the serious challenge to Africa’s development that they represent. During her intervention, Baroness Amos raised Zimbabwe and the appalling human rights situation caused by President Mugabe. African leaders too spoke up on the need to tackle poor governance and safeguard human rights and the links to growth promotion and development.

The trading relationship between the European Union and African countries and regions formed an important part of discussions, with some African countries expressing concerns about the new economic partnership agreements. Many African countries have now signed or initialled interim agreements with the Commission. The Commission underscored the importance of concluding such agreements, particularly for non-least developed countries, in order to safeguard trade flows. It agreed to schedule further discussions with the leaders from the five African regions in the new year to take stock of the situation and discuss the way forward. The UK continues to encourage those countries which have yet to sign an interim agreement to do so to avoid damaging trade disruption. We also consider it vital that no country should be worse off and that, when full economic partnership agreements are negotiated, they promote development objectives.

The summit aimed to forge a stronger partnership between Africa and Europe. Leaders agreed a joint strategy and a series of action plans that set out

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specific commitments over the next three years. These new agreements build on many of the commitments made at Gleneagles and at the December 2005 European Council held under the UK presidency. “EU Africa Partnerships”, setting out co-operation and targets, have been agreed under eight headings; the millennium development goals; good governance and human rights; peace and security; climate change; energy; trade and integration; migration; and science.

The UK will continue to work closely with EU and African partners to ensure that commitments made in Lisbon are honoured and concrete progress is made.

Regional Development Agencies: Yorkshire Forward

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office & Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Lord Jones of Birmingham): My right honourable friend the Minister of State for Competitiveness (Stephen Timms) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I have decided to appoint the new board members listed below:

Mark Lovell and Councillor Mark Kirk.

All the new appointments will be for a period of three years.

The appointments will begin on 14 December 2007 and will expire on 13 December 2010.

I have placed further details of the appointments in the Library of both Houses. They were all made in accordance with the code of practice of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

Biographies

Councillor Mark Kirk is the leader of North Lincolnshire Council. At a regional level, Mark is the chair of the Yorkshire and Humber Assembly's Regional Transport Board. In relation to the Humber sub-region he is a director of Urban Renaissance, director of Crosby Pathfinder, director of Humberside Airport and director of Humber Economic Partnership. At a local level, he chairs the local ethnic community meetings; is a founder member of the Crosby Community Association; and was formerly vice chair of Lincolnshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

No other ministerial appointments are held.

Mark Lovell is the executive chairman of A4e Ltd and is a dynamic and successful entrepreneur/business leader focused on high growth business in global public service markets. His company has grown from start-up to a £100 million turnover business over the past 15 years and has received a number of accolades.

Research and Science Budget

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (Lord Triesman): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (John Denham) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.



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Today I am publishing the Research and Science Budget Allocations 2008-09 to 2010/11. The publication outlines the allocations of the research and science budget for this Comprehensive Spending Review period and provides further details on what this money will deliver. I have placed copies in the House Library.

The overall research and science budget settlement was announced by the Chancellor in the Comprehensive Spending Review. As a result the department will spend almost £6 billion in total on the research base by 2010-11. This is made up of the research and science budget and nearly £2 billion of funding to reach English universities through the Higher Education Funding Council's (HEFCE) quality-related funding stream (the second leg of the dual support system).

The research and science budget specifically will increase from £3.4 billion per year in 2007-08 to almost £4 billion per year by 2010-11, taking the Government's support for the UK's research base to its highest level ever.

Specifically the allocations will:

fund new commitments to the Office for the Strategic Co-ordination of Health Research (OSCHR);support £120 million of collaborative work between the Technology Strategy Board and the research councils over the CSR period;enable relevant recommendations of the Sainsbury review to be implemented;enable the research councils to fund research at 90 per cent of its full economic cost;increase funding for the Higher Education Innovation Fund; andprovide capital funding to ensure the long-term sustainability of the research base and allow UK researchers to benefit from a range of new world-class facilities.

Key Highlights of the Allocations

The UK continues to perform exceptionally well in research and, increasingly, its exploitation. We remain second only to the US in global scientific excellence (as measured by citations), while collaboration between the research base and business continues to grow ever stronger.

The allocations provide significant support for medical research. The Medical Research Council will receive almost £2 billion over the three years to help keep the UK at the forefront of medical advances. Joint investment with the Department of Health, joined up by OSCHR, will ensure that more fundamental research is translated into clinical practice. The funding will also enable the development of the UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation (UKCMRI) on the British Library site, and the rebuilding of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge (subject to approval of individual business plans by the Government).

In response to the “grand challenges” outlined by the Chancellor at the announcement of the Comprehensive Spending Review, the research councils are embarking on an exciting range of thematic research programmes. These programmes bring together partners from inside and outside the research community in an unprecedented effort to tackle these issues. Programmes

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include: Living with Environmental Change, Ageing, Global Threats to Security, and Energy.

This allocation makes resources available to drive forward the economic impact agenda in the face of global challenges. The research councils have each set out explicit strategies for delivering a step change in their economic impact. The strategies form a solid foundation from which research councils can further raise their emphasis on economic impact during this CSR spending period.

In addition, the Higher Education Innovation Fund will rise to £150 million per annum by 2010-11, providing more resources than ever before to support knowledge transfer between universities and business. The Public Sector Research Exploitation Fund will in future attract co-funding from other sources so that even more support can be made available to public sector laboratories as they commercialise their research.

We have increased the budget for the successful Science Bridges scheme to £12 million to foster stronger links with international researchers, alongside supporting international fellowships run by the national academies. This will help forge stronger links with the US, China, and India in particular.

A new capital investment fund is being created for universities carrying out research council-funded projects. This permanent funding stream replaces the temporary Science Research Investment Fund (SRIF) programme, which has helped make good the backlog in investment in research infrastructure. The new fund will help universities to sustain this research infrastructure in the future.

Health of Disciplines

The science and innovation investment framework 2004-14 sets out the Government's commitment to nurturing key disciplines. The research councils, funding councils, and national academies have made significant progress. It is important that all key disciplines remain strong and vibrant. Research priorities will change over time but it is important that the Government are confident that the combined decisions of the research councils properly underpin the health of key disciplines. This is important both for the future of research and, more widely, to ensure a flow of talented individuals into STEM subjects at university.

As a next step, I have asked Ian Diamond, as chair of RCUK, to organise a series of reviews on the health of key research disciplines in the UK. The first of these reviews will be on physics and will span at least three research councils (the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Natural Environment Research Council and the Science and Technology Facilities Council). It will be led by Professor Bill Wakeham, Vice-Chancellor, University of Southampton.

Large Experimental Facilities

Investment in advanced experimental facilities is of critical importance to the long-term success of the research base. STFC invests significantly in national facilities (such as Diamond and Isis) and international subscriptions (for example, the European research centre at CERN). The allocation to STFC supports the Government's vision for Harwell and Daresbury to be developed as science and innovation campuses.



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The Daresbury campus will be developed as a partnership between the STFC, the NWDA, the private sector and universities. I have asked Sir Tom McKillop to look specifically at the development of the Daresbury site as part of his wider independent review into the future of the Manchester city region and wider north-west economy.

Similarly, the Harwell science and innovation campus is being developed as a scientific and high technology cluster in Oxfordshire.

Conclusion

World-class research in the UK is crucial to maintaining economic prosperity and responding to the challenges and opportunities of globalisation. Research plays a

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vital part in addressing key global and domestic challenges, such as climate change, energy, ageing, technological change and security. The research base also delivers improvements in public service delivery and contributes to improvements in education, health and culture.

The allocation of the science budget will continue to support the full spectrum of academic endeavour. It will ensure that all benefits from the excellent research base are maximised by encouraging the full exploitation of fundamental research. It will support the long-term sustainability of research in the UK, while encouraging further international collaboration.

Link to report: www.dius.gov.uk/publications/URN07114.pdf.


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